Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere burst onto the NHL scene during the 2015-16 season, racking up 46 points (17 goals, 29 assists) in 64 regular-season games, finishing second in Calder Trophy voting.
However, that standout rookie campaign ended with two offseason surgeries that negatively affected his play during the 2016-17 season. Leading to a down year that saw him total only 39 points (seven goals, 32 assists) in 76 games.
Despite the dip in production, Ghost is feeling more ready than ever to prove his worth, and is looking forward to next season.
"Now I feel really explosive, I feel really strong," Gostisbehere said Friday, according to Adam Kimelman of NHL.com.
Surgeries in May of 2016 to repair damage to the muscles in his hip and abdomen impacted the young rearguard more mentally than physically - a fact that clearly hindered his free-flowing style of play last season.
"It's your thought process," said Ghostisbehere. "You're making cuts, you're doing things (and) you think about it. 'I could have gone a little faster there. Is that from the surgery?' It's more mental than anything."
Whether it was physical or mental, Ghostisbehere didn't perform to the level that the Flyers expect, resulting in him being a healthy scratch in five games in 2016-17.
"You've got to be a good team player about it," he said. "Can't make it about yourself. Yeah, you don't want to be a healthy scratch, but you take the positives from it. I think I did that. … I got better off the ice when my team was on the ice."
Fully healthy and with a clear head, the 24-year-old Florida native is ready for the season ahead.
"I think going into this season we're really focused," he said. "We're going to have a young, fun, exciting team to watch. And it's going to be a great season."
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